Rep. Fattah advances neuroscience agenda at meetings with Massachusetts officials, medical leaders

June 25, 2012

Congressman Fattah visits a neuroscience center (credit: Congressman Fattah)

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a leading voice in Congress for neuroscience research, has met with a top adviser to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Harvard, and other organizations to explore Fattah’s idea to adapt the new Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium as the model for a national public-private-nonprofit partnership on brain research.

“This new Consortium based in Boston and Cambridge is an exciting development for future advances in brain science and medicine,” Fattah said. “The Consortium can provide us with the model for a major national partnership of government, the pharmaceutical industry, leading academic researchers and medical schools.

“This coordinated approach, putting together our best and brightest, can be good news for the tens of millions of Americans affected by every kind of brain disorder from Alzheimer’s to sports concussions, battlefield injuries and childhood learning disabilities,” Fattah said.

Fattah is the author of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, which establishes the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience at the White House to coordinate federal brain injury and brain disease research and development. Currently at least four separate federal departments and agencies are involved in funding or overseeing various aspects of neuroscience research.

Fattah said he would like to attract more interest in neuroscience research among pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer but proposing reforms in patent law to increase the incentives for new discoveries and treatment in brain disease. Fattah is the senior Democratic appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee for the Department of Commerce, which administers the patent process.